October 24, 2010

Mark Latti: Rise in Canada geese is good news for hunters

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Decoy selection and set-up is also extremely important. Experienced hunters will use a variety of decoys, including large magnum goose shells, life-size decoys and silhouette photo decoys.

Knowing the area you are hunting is key, because you will be setting up your decoys in the pre-dawn darkness, with the field lit by your head lamp or maybe your truck headlights.

Once the sun starts to rise, if you have selected the right spot, the fun is about to start. Usually you can hear the geese in the distance as they prepare to set off to their feeding grounds. Once a flock is in the air, calling properly is important, and if this is one of your first times, hunting with a guide or an experienced goose hunter can help.

Along with calling, another very successful tactic is flagging, which simulates the fluttering wings of geese as they descend.

If you are successful calling and flagging, you will see that familiar V formation circling towards you. You will find that these flocks may circle once or twice high above you to make sure everything looks right before descending. Staying well hidden and using a large flock of decoys will increase your chances of success.

Many times as they fly overhead, the flock will stay silent, and all you hear is the rhythmic sound of dozens of wings whooshing as they fly into your decoy spread, illuminated in the early morning sun. That is what makes goose hunting in Maine so spectacular.

Mark Latti is a former public information officer for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and a Registered Maine Guide. He can be reached at: mlatti@gmail.com


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